I like warm hugs – but don’t let your pets melt this summer!
No one wanted to tell Olaf that Summer may not be so dreamy when you’re a snowman, and as warmer days come our way, it might be time we think about how our 4-legged companions can thrive despite the impending heat.
This summer, we are likely to be facing intense heatwaves across the country, and temperature records are expected to be broken once again. Unlike snowmen, our furry pets do have in built mechanisms to deal with differing climates, but when you are adorned with a rich coat of fur, extreme heat will pose a challenge and some help from us as devoted pet lovers is needed.
Like humans, the old and the young are often the most vulnerable. Whilst we can sweat it out, dogs and cats can only release heat through areas not covered by fur, and each animal has a slightly different approach to heat management.
As you might expect by their nature, cats will usually take themselves off to a cool place and limit their activity. Your job for them is to ensure enough water and shade is available, and it can be a good idea to provide some wet towels if the temperature is really soaring. Dogs, however, rely on panting, creating evaporation of moisture from their tongues and nasal passages to cool them down, so make sure there is always a supply of water on hand for them. Your dog may still be keen on your daily walk together too, so choose your timing wisely and walk your pets in the coolness of the early morning or evening, being mindful of the air temperature, but also that of the ground. If you are unable to walk on the footpath with bare feet, then bare paws will also struggle.
There are also some more creative ways to keep your cats and canines cool. Refrigerated snacks could be a nice treat, some ice in the water bowl, or wet towels near bedding can be soothing. For those who love a bit of a splash, a sprinkler or kids wading pool in the backyard can be heaps of fun for the whole family!
If you need to travel with your pets in the car on a hot day, remember that life threatening temperatures can be reached in under 10 minutes in a car, even with the windows open.
Despite your best efforts, our fur babies can still be impacted by heat in such a way that needs urgent Veterinary attention. If your pet seems lethargic, is refusing food or water, isolating themselves, panting incessantly, drooling or vomiting, please crank up the air-conditioning in the car and bring them in to see the Vetmed team to chill everyone out ASAP!